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#249 Steve Jobs In His Own Words
June 1st, 2022 | E249

What I learned from reading I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words by George Beahm.


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On Steve Jobs

#5 Steve Jobs: The Biography
#19 Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
#76 Return To The Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs and The Creation of Apple
#77 Steve Jobs & The NeXT Big Thing
#204 Inside Steve Jobs' Brain
#214 Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
#235 To Pixar And Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History

Bonus Episodes on Steve Jobs

Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success (Between #112 and #113)
Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs (Between #110 and #111)

On Jony Ive and Steve Jobs

#178 Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products

On Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs

#34 Creativity Inc: Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way of True Inspiration

On Steve Jobs and several other technology company founders

#157 The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

#208 In the Company of Giants: Candid Conversations With the Visionaries of the Digital World

[3:13] We're not going to be the first to this party, but we're going to be the best.

[4:54] Company Focus: We do no market research. We don't hire consultants. We just want to make great products.

[5:06] The roots of Apple were to build computers for people, not for corporations. The world doesn't need another Dell or Compaq.

[5:52] Nearly all the founders I’ve read about have a handful of ideas/principles that are important to them and they just repeat and pound away at them forever.

[7:00] You can oftentimes arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don't put in the time or energy to get there.

[8:09] I think of Founders as a tool for working professionals. And what that tool does is it gets ideas from the history of entrepreneurship into your brain so then you can use them in your work. It just so happens that a podcast is a great way to achieve that goal.

[8:48] Tim Ferriss Podcast #596 with Ed Thorp

[8:50] A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market by Ed Thorp. (Founders 222)

[10:43] In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.

[12:05] The Essential Difference: The Lisa people wanted to do something great. And the Mac people want to do something insanely great. The difference shows.

[14:21] Sure, what we do has to make commercial sense, but it's never the starting point. We start with the product and the user experience.

[15:57] Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli. (Founders #19)

[16:41] We had a passion to do this one simple thing.

[16:51] And that's really important because he's saying I wasn't trying to build the biggest company. I wasn't trying to build a trillion dollar company. It wasn't doing any of that. Those things happen later as a by-product of what I was actually focused on, which is just building the best computer that I wanted to use.

[17:14] In the Company of Giants: Candid Conversations With the Visionaries of the Digital World by Rama Dev Jager and Rafael Ortiz.  (Founders #208 )

[17:41] It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you're doing. Picasso had a saying: good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.

[20:29] Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

[21:06]  A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman (Founders #95) “A very small percentage of the population produces the greatest proportion of the important ideas. There are some people if you shoot one idea into the brain, you will get half an idea out. There are other people who are beyond this point at which they produce two ideas for each idea sent in.”

[22:29] Edwin land episodes:

Insisting On The Impossible: The Life of Edwin Land and Instant: The Story of Polaroid (Founders #40)

The Instant Image: Edwin Land and The Polaroid Experience by Mark Olshaker. (Founders #132)

Land’s Polaroid: A Company and The Man Who Invented It by Peter C. Wensberg. (Founders #133)

A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War by Ronald K. Fierstein. (Founders #134)

[25:01] Macintosh was basically this relatively small company in Cupertino, California, taking on the goliath, IBM, and saying "Wait a minute, your way is wrong. This is not the way we want computers to go. This is not the legacy we want to leave. This is not what we want our kids to be learning. This is wrong and we are going to show you the right way to do it and here it is and it is so much better.

[27:47] Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Productsby Leander Kahney. (
(Founders #178)

[29:00] Enzo Ferrari: Power, Politics, and the Making of an Automobile Empire by Luca Dal Monte (Founders #98)

[34:39] On meeting his wife, Laurene: I was in the parking lot, with the key in the car, and I thought to myself: If this is my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting or with this woman? I ran across the parking lot, asked her if she'd have dinner with me. She said yes, we walked into town, and we've been together ever since.

[37:26] It's not about pop culture, and it's not about fooling people, and it's not about convincing people that they want something they don't. We figure out what we want. And I think we're pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That's what we get paid to do.

[41:29] Constellation Software Inc. President's Letters by Mark Leonard. (Founders #246)

[42:30] Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony by Akio Morita. (Founders #102)

[44:36] Victory in our industry is spelled survival.

[45:21] Once you get into the problem you see that it's complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions. That's where most people stop, and the solutions tend to work for a while. But the really great person will keep going, find the underlying problem, and come up with an elegant solution that works on every level.

[48:15] Churchill by Paul Johnson (Founders #225)

[48:25] I would trade all my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.


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